June cover model Juliana Daniell has been living fit her whole life. She started taking swim lessons at 8 months, and then the tap, jazz and ballet classes began at age 2. Her love for fitness stayed with her as she got older— in college she swam for Virginia Tech, and she currently uses her gymnastics and dance skills as a captain of the Atlanta Hawks cheerleading team. In 2010, Juliana also became an IFBB Bikini Pro in, and has competed for the past two years. So clearly, with that kind of background, Juliana knows exactly what it takes to get flat abs for bikini season.
Recently Juliana took the time to discuss some tips, healthy summer advice, what motivates her, and more. But for much more with Juliana, be sure to check out the June issue for FitnessRx for Women, which includes a bikini abs workout poster and meal plan (and you can find Bikini Abs BONUS exercises here).
FitRx: You first appeared on the cover of FitnessRx for Women in April of last year. How does it feel to be on the cover of FitnessRx again?
Juliana: Words can’t explain how I feel! I’m just so happy and beyond grateful to be given this amazing honor again. It’s been over a year since my last cover issue came out and that is STILL the profile picture I have on Facebook and Twitter, and I still get giddy and excited when people send me pictures of that issue when they find it! I just really hope that the training tips, advice, and insight into my personal trials and errors that I share in this issue will help people and inspire them even more than the last issue.
FitRx: Do you have any exciting plans for the summer?
Juliana: I don’t really have anything too exciting planned as of yet, but I’ll definitely be working a lot! =) I’m under contract with Falken Tire as a spokesmodel, and I travel all over the country representing them at the different races. And I’ll still be doing appearances and things with the Atlanta Hawks. We actually will have tryouts coming up in June, so I’ll be getting ready for those. If I can get some free time I would love to take a few trips solely to rest and relax, but that comes second to everything else.
FitRx: So, we’ve all heard that “abs are made in the kitchen”… what foods must you avoid to achieve defined abs? What foods help you have great abs?
Juliana: Consume the following in moderation; alcohol, salt, sugar and carbs. Asparagus is a natural diuretic and helps the midsection stay water free and nice and tight.
FitRx: What are your own personal tricks for great abs?
Juliana: Diet is always my number one trick to get great abs but cardio is not far behind it! I always find that interval training on the treadmill as well as supersets of lifting and cardio are two things that are extremely helpful when trying to achieve great abs.
FitRx: Summer is coming up, so many of our readers are heading out on beach vacations. What can they do a few weeks before to help them look and feel fab in their swimsuits?
Juliana: Clean up your diet, eat smaller meals more frequently during the day, and don’t eat bad foods late at night!
FitRx: Do you have any tips for people who are traveling during the summer but want to stick to their fitness and healthy eating plan?
Juliana: I always say it’s a 90/10 split between eating healthy and exercising. But when you’re out of town, it’s hard to eat as clean as you should, so the exercise becomes just as important as the food you eat. Always try to pick the healthy menu items when you’re at the restaurants. Sometimes you just gotta be that annoying customer who orders everything specifically how you want it— and order a little extra so you have extra food to eat for a snack later on. I also like to bring protein powder and green food powder with me; they pack/travel easily. I try to work out a little longer or even twice a day when I’m out of town because I know I’m taking in more calories than normal, and the extra cardio will help me maintain my weight. Or if there isn’t a gym available, you can always get a good workout in your hotel room. Just bring along a resistance band with you whenever you travel. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
FitRx: Do you have any tips for getting a great tan?
Juliana: Well, there’s always the old-fashioned way of using tanning oil and lying out for hours on end. But I can’t do that because skin cancer runs in my family and also I can’t afford any more wrinkles! ;) I personally love doing spray tans! It’s so much better for your skin, it’s SO quick and easy, and it lasts long enough to make it worth the money. I either go to a salon to get it done or I just get a bottle from the store and do it myself! Sally Hanson, SUN from Ulta, and also the ones from Sephora (St. Tropez specifically) are great brands that last and have a nice color for all skin types.
FitRx: Since you were a swimmer at Virginia Tech, what’s your favorite swimsuit brand? Do you have any tips for picking out a great swimsuit?
Juliana: I always tell people to try on ALL the different styles of suits at the stores and not just the ones you’re used to or “think” look right for you, because you will probably be surprised! There’s a store here in Atlanta called Atlanta Beach and they carry two lines, Luli Fama and Vitamin A, and they are my FAVS! They have the best patterns and all different styles of tops and bottoms to chose from. And they last and are worth the money.
FitRx: What are some of your favorite summer foods?
Juliana: Oh gosh, there’s so many! Summertime is the season for experimental cooking! I love to try new salad concoctions; grill everything possible because it just tastes better when it’s been grilled outside; a good homemade burger; crawfish boils; BBQ; watermelon with salt and pepper on it; frozen yogurt; and good old sweet tea! I could go on forever, but I’ll stop! =)
FitRx: What’s the biggest challenge for you when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, and how do you deal with it?
Juliana: I think the biggest challenge for me would be sticking to clean eating. Over the last couple of months, I’ve been able to get that word moderation back into my life. I’m slowly retraining myself to understand that whatever I’m eating today will still be available tomorrow, and that I don’t need to feast on it in fear I won’t ever get it again. If I want to look and feel a certain way, I have work for it and make it a priority; it’s NOT just going to happen! This means eat the foods I know I should, limit the ones I always crave, and head to the gym at least five times a week— but aim for six. If not, I’m not going to be the person I want to be, physically or mentally.
FitRx: What do you hope to accomplish in the next year?
Juliana: First and foremost, I want to continue to inspire others to be the best they can be and help them any way I can to achieve that goal. That’s my true passion and I will never stray from that. I do love acting and modeling and would love to book a national commercial or print ad for a fitness company— Under Armour, Nike, Adidas, but I’m definitely not picky ;) I would be ecstatic to grace the cover of a fitness magazine again, I would love to book more acting roles—TV or film— and lastly, I would love to link up with a supplement company and become a spokesmodel for them.
FitRx: What inspires you?
Juliana: I love when people seek me out for information, guidance and support about anything! I get so much satisfaction from being able to help or guide someone and telling my story and failures, in hopes it will help them avoid a wrong turn.
FitRx: Why do you love fitness?
Juliana: I love fitness because of how it makes me feel. It’s the foundation for everything I do and am involved in. When I’m fit and healthy, I perform at my best, I feel my best, and I am able to chase and reach the majority of tasks I set out to conquer. Fitness doesn’t only satisfy me physically; it’s the mental satisfaction I get from it. The high I get after I just finished a killer leg workout (by the way— I hate training legs! Ha!) or a strenuous round of cardio is beyond satisfying— I did something to the best of my ability, fully aware that it’s going make me better. I also love fitness because it’s always been a part of me and it’s something I would feel lost without.